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Local government in times of changing urban-rural relations: Territorial reform, second-tier local governments and inter-municipal cooperation as remedies?

Comparative Politics
Federalism
Institutions
Local Government
Public Administration
Regionalism
P243
Karl Kössler
European Academy of Bolzano
Karl Kössler
European Academy of Bolzano

Abstract

Over the last decades, manifold crises have entailed a number of challenges for local governments. They are strongly affected, on the one hand, by underlying long-term trends like urbanization and rural demographic ageing. On the other hand, municipalities have had to face challenges of more recent origin such as the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. These phenomena have had a bearing on many aspects of local government. But a particularly salient question appears to be how municipalities on different places on the broad urban-rural continuum have fared in this new context and, more specifically, how they have been affected by pushes in times of multiple crises towards structural change. The panel seeks to address this issue by presenting and comparing evidence from four European countries which was gathered within the EU-Horizon 2020 project “Local Government and the Changing Urban-Rural Interplay (LoGov)”. The papers will focus on the various forms that changes to the structure of local government may take, especially on territorial reforms, second-tier local governments and inter-municipal cooperation, in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. What have been the advantages and disadvantages of these reform options in the four countries to make the local government structure fit better to the changing realities of both more urban and more rural areas? How do they relate to each other? We shall see that these options may be alternatives, complementary but sometimes also in competition to each other. Finally, how have they fared so far and what are their future prospects?

Title Details
Austria: Between single territorial reforms and its preference for inter-municipal cooperation View Paper Details
Germany: Municipal associations, cooperation and the specific case of water management View Paper Details
Switzerland: When Agglomeration and Amalgamation Compete View Paper Details
Italy: The Metropolitan Cities in the context of urban-rural relations View Paper Details
Institutions of land-use changes in non-urbanized areas in Poland View Paper Details